Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is a private organization that works as an accrediting authority for institutions providing distance education. A few tips on how to obtain a DEAC accreditation and how to retain the accreditation are given below.

Updated by Theres Ann on 3rd July 2019

Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC) 

Distance Education Accreditation Council is a private, non-governmental organization created for establishing, reviewing and maintaining and reviewing the standards of Distance Education Programs across different institutions. The legal framework of operation of these institutions is performed as per the bylaws or constitution of the organization.

Accreditation standards are the requirements established in areas including academic quality, educational requirements, faculty and student services, legal business practices, academic support services, research resources, administrative and financial capacity.

The objectives of the accrediting organization are contained within the accreditation policies. The entire process of accreditation, along with substantial changes, appeals, conflict of interest, and more are explained by the policy of the organization.

The Commission is recognized by the US Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

 

[Also Read: What is Accreditation in Colleges and Universities? ]

 

The Commission also sponsors the Delta Epsilon Tau Honor Society which recognizes the extra-capabilities and academic achievements of students within the distance education environment.

Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC) source - DEAC


History of DEAC

A few historical milestones of the commission are given below.

  • The Commission was founded in 1946 and was first named the ‘National Home Study Council’.

  • The Commission was established with an aim to promote quality of education and ethical business practices for Correspondence Education Programs.

  • The accrediting commission was established in 1955.

  • The Commission received its first Grant of Federal Recognition in 1959.

  • The organization was renamed to Distance Education and Training Council in 1994.

  • It received its present name in 2015.

  • DEAC has also received its accreditation from the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) in 2017.


DEAC accreditation process

The accreditation process involves the following steps.

  • Preparation of Self-Evaluation Report – Provides a clear explanation of how the accrediting standards and policies are met by the institution.

  • Team Visit – After the submission of the self-evaluation report, a team consisting of educational administrators, faculty, practitioners and subject experts visit the institution to verify if the accrediting principles are met by the institution.

  • Final Review – The decision-making team of the commission including experts finally decide on whether the accreditation has to be granted to the organization.


Eligibility requirements for DEAC accreditation

An institution should essentially encounter all eligibility requirements before it gains the candidate status.

  • The institution offers programs that are mainly concerned with distance education or correspondence education.

  • The organization must be accurately licensed, authorized, exempted or approved by the valid state educational official authority.

  • The institution should enroll students in recent programs for a duration of two consecutive years under the present ownership during the initial application.

  • Evidence through examined or revised financial declarations that the organization is financially firm.

  • The name that is being used by the organization is permitted from any association with any action that might damage the reputation of the accrediting commission.

  • The institution, its owners, governing board members, officials, and administrators possess sound reputations and demonstrate a record of integrity and ethical conduct.

  • The organization approves that as part of the application process, the owners, officers, and managers may be subject to a background check by DEAC.


Points to be followed for DEAC accreditation

The points to be noted by institutions that are applying for DEAC accreditation are given below.

  • A member of the requesting institution should qualify as a Compliance Officer by completing the DEAC Accreditation Tutorial.

  • Application for accreditation will only be approved after the Commission receives a certificate from the Compliance Officer.

  • Even before applying for accreditation, the institution has to make sure that it meets all eligibility criteria as mentioned by the Commission.

  • The application for accreditation is valid for one year after the application is first submitted.

  • A Self-Evaluation Report is later presented by the institution explaining the reasons why the institution should be accredited.

  • After receiving the self-evaluation report, a Readiness Assessment is made by the institution-visiting expert from the Accrediting Commission.

  • The entire process of accreditation would take 18-24 years for completion depending on the size of the institution.

  • For any queries on the accreditation process, the Accreditation Commission Staff in Washington can be approached.

  • The Commission also provides accreditation to non-US institutions.

  • The accreditation cannot be transferred and hence if there is any change in ownership or administration of the institution, then the accreditation would be reviewed.

  • The on-site visit fee can range between $8,000 and $15,000.


DEAC for students

Few points to be noted by students enrolling in DEAC institutions is given below.

  • Accreditation is a guarantee on the institution’s ability to impart quality education, perform credit transfer, ability to strategically plan, demonstrate effective leadership, maintain the financial stability and more. Hence enrolling oneself into a DEAC accredited institution is important.

  • DEAC accreditation provides an institution an ability to grant Federal Student Loans and Grants, the Montgomery GI Bill, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Military Tuition Assistance Program and more programs as such.

  • Credit transfer policies are institution-dependent. Hence, verify in prior if the institution that you are planning to attend will accept credits transferred from a DEAC accredited institution. 


Benefits of DEAC

  • Builds up confidence among disciples about the programs offered by the institution, whether they have been assessed and encounter rigorous standards authorized by education industry authorities ranging from high school to Doctoral degree as well as a non-degree certificate.

  • Commission increases and enhances job opportunities for its students perusing graduation from an accredited institution.

  • Authenticates the unique means for delivering programs are reliable with best educational practices and offers students with an assurance that the education perusing by them is valuable and worth time, money, and effort.

  • Permits an institution to obtain public recognition for the quality programs and facilities presented to students.

  • Encourages the incorporation and constant development of best practice in support of student success and institutional progress.

  • Provides a document regarding institutions mission, goals and objectives by determining the success of each resolution of continuous self-assessment.


DEAC's strategic directions for student success

DEAC aims to impart quality learning irrespective of the geographical areas of location of the institution. Some of the strategic directions for student success as suggested by the DEAC are given below.

  • DEAC exemplifies a new pattern in which accrediting organizations are identified by their innovation and excellence rather than geographic boundaries.

  • This accreditation commission compliments and strengthens institutional status through its unexpected understanding of the changing distance education.

  • It sets a standard for distance education that ensures excellence in teaching, learning and student outcome.

  • DEAC supports institutions that meet a high bar and helping applicants meeting the standard of excellence.


DEAC accredited Colleges/Universities

Some of the institutions accredited by the DEAC are given below.

DEAC accredited colleges and universities  
Penn Foster College Ashworth College
California Intercontinental University Grantham University
Atlantic University Columbia Southern University
City Vision University California Coast University
Anaheim University American Sentinel University

Conclusion

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is a private, non-profit organization that provides accreditation to universities that offer distance education. After an institution has exhausted the appeal process to request for not losing the accreditation, the institution might lose its accreditation. The institution is also permitted to voluntarily withdraw its accreditation.

The California National University for Advanced  Studies, Inste Bible college, Middleton Academy are a few institutions that voluntarily withdrew their accreditation in 2019. For distance education programs, DEAC would remain to be the ultimate authority for accreditation.


FAQ's

  Is DEAC accreditation legitimate?


The DEAC is recognized by the Council For Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the US Department of Education and hence is legitimate.

  Is DEAC regionally accredited?


DEAC is a national accreditor agency.

  Which are the parent organizations of DEAC?


The National Home Study Council and the Distance Education Training Council are the parent organizations of the Distance Education Accreditation Commission.

  Name a few institutions that have received the DEAC accreditation.


Institutions including Abraham Lincoln University, Los Angeles (CA), Allied American University, Laguna Beach (CA), American Business and Technology University, American College of HealthCare, American Independent University, California, American Inter-continental University Atlanta and more have been accredited by the DEAC.

  What are the responsibilities of a DEAC volunteer?


The two main responsibilities of a DEAC Volunteer are as given below.

  • The analysis of quality of program offered by the institution
  • Perform institutional improvement by suggesting changes, aimed towards the continuous improvement of the institution.

  Which are the financial aids available for students in the DEAC accredited institution?


Federal, Title IV Student Loans and grants, Montgomery GI Bill, Post 9/11 GI Bill, Military tuition assistance program for spouses are a few of the financial aids available for students in a DEAC accredited institution.